Why I Love To Give Thanks and Praise
Thank You Lord For Everything
Oh yes, I thank you Lord for every flower that blooms, birds that sing, fish that swim in the light of the moon, I thank you everyday when I kneel and pray that we were born with eyes to see these things....
I hum this tune from time to time. They are words to a song that I really cannot remember, but those are the words that stuck with me. Every morning when I awake I usually say, "Thank you, Lord!" It comes from a grateful heart that is happy to be alive. I have all my faculties and abilities and most of all I have the breath of life. What more can I ask for? (Well, sometimes I do ask for a little extra chum change (money ), but it does not ever come as I like), so I do not bother to worry about things I do not have control over.
That Word, "WORRY!"
That word, "WORRY" almost destroyed my life. Reason being that I worried over everything when I was younger. I worried over my job, my home, my children, myself - every imaginable thing that came to mind - you can bet that I would worry over it. Worry and concern brought about a lot of psychosomatic symptoms in my body. There was pain from head to toe - headaches, toothaches, chest pains, back pains, leg pains, foot pains, arm pains - just mention it and I had it. I went from doctor to doctor who all told me the same thing - "there is NOTHING wrong with you". Would I believe them? Hell No! Not with all the pain I was going through. All my friends tried counselling me and advised me to relax. Even relaxing was painful. My church friends told me to "Let Go and Let God". How in the world did one do that? Heavens forbid, I certainly did not know.
Never Forsake Prayer
One friend at work even advised me to get a large piece of card board and mark all the different parts of the body on it and then hang it around my neck, so when somewhere is hurting me, I can easily identify the area without bothering her all the time with, "What part of the body is this, because here is now hurting me". I tell you, it was all over, through and through. Thank God, it is all over now.
Anyway, despite all of this, one thing I never did was to forsake prayer. I remembered whilst reading the Bible I would read somewhere along the way that the Lord will be with you in whatever situation you are going through - whether it is through fire, water, however far you go He is there with you. HE is Omnipresent, so what's the use of running or hiding.
Okay, so where was He now when I was in all this pain - even my mouth was burning me like pepper. I prayed, cried and beseeched - pain was still there. Should I give up trusting God and just go along my merry way (in this case, not-so-merry way) taking medication to calm my nerves. I did not really want to do that as I really, really liked talking to God. He was my friend - not like some friends I had who were there when they needed something from you and when the going got rough they disappeared. Not the friend who will smile with you and then ill-speak you when you are not around. Don't get me wrong - there are genuine friends - but they are few and far between.
The Lord did not appear superficial to me. Yep, I got fed-up at times and blamed him for my situation, but that was when I felt sorry for myself. Everyone else seemed happy and here was I, feeling totally miserable and unhappy. Someone asked me, "how do you know that everyone else is happy?" I said, "because they are smiling and having fun". She replied, "not because they are not complaining like you means that they are happy".
Trusting God with All My Heart
To cut a very long story short - I eventually took God at his word and began to "Trust Him with All My Heart and Lean Not Unto My Own Understanding (Prov.3:5). The book of Proverbs holds a lot of wisdom. I normally read it because Solomon had prayed for wisdom and he also received understanding. So I kept myself apart - took time for myself and shut out all the other voices around me. As the days went by, I worked through my pains with prayer and solitude. In the quietness I found peace. I focussed less on myself and more on God. Was it easy? NO! But I was quite determined to keep at it. I needed to be alone with God and no other detractors around. I read beautiful books, not only the Bible. Books that would inspire me. Joel Osteen's "Your Best Life Now" was quite good. "Finding Peace Within" by White, Munilla and Wheeling was also quite good. Referencing the Bible was great. It took time - a lot of time, but eventually I was out of the tunnel of pain (whopee!) and furthermore, I realised that the worry was basically gone.
God Loves Us Regardless
We are all concerned from time to time, but I was on a run-away train of worry. I was destroying myself. I look back - not with regret - as it was part of my learning experience - and I smile. The things we do to ourselves! Hence the reason I always say that we have to love ourselves unconditionally. God loves us with all our imperfections so we have to love ourselves too before we can love anyone else. LOVE HEALS!! Try it - it is one of the best prescriptions down through the ages. Isaiah 41:10 is a verse that I keep close to my heart: "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: Be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee; yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness".
Everyone is different. Different things would bring a measure of comfort to some people, but for me, it is trusting and thanking God that does the trick for me. I thank God even when I do not feel to. I force myself to praise when I am really not up to it, but you know what? - when I am finished there is usually a smile on my face. So I praise and thank on the good days and bad days. God placed me on the face of the earth to praise him and to enjoy all the fruits of my labor and I am going to do just that. Not forgetting to love my neighbor as myself. So you see, it all boils down to LOVE.
Now when my friends go through similar situations and I attempt to speak to them, they usually say, "you do not know what I am going through". I smile and say, "Yes, I do!" I realise that we go through situations in order to help others. This is my greatest joy. Now, I would say, "Why worry, when you can pray. Trust Jesus, He will lead the way. Don't be like doubting Thomas, put your faith and trust in Jesus, Why worry, worry, worry, when you can PRAY." That is a lovely kindergarten song that we learnt as children.
Psalms Are Full of Praise
King David knew how to praise and thank God. The psalms are full of worship of praises and thanks especially from Ps.146 to 150. However, I personally like Ps.100 - it is short and applicable to me. It starts with "make a joyful noise unto the Lord" and ends with "For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting and His truth endureth to all generations".
I will end with two quotes from the book, Be-Good-To-Yourself Therapy by C. Hartman :
- "Trust yourself. You know what you want and need."
- "Put yourself first. You can't be anything for anybody else unless you take care of yourself."
So... Thank You Lord, that I was able to share this hub with others.
BE BLESSED AND HAVE A WONDERFUL LIFE!